Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau is courting the votes of Canada’s oldest citizens, those most likely to actually cast a ballot, with a promise to increase federal aid to lower-income seniors.
At a campaign stop in Quebec City on Thursday, he promised a re-elected Liberal government would hike the guaranteed income supplement by $500 for individuals and $750 for senior couples.
The Liberals say this would help 2.2 million seniors.
“After a lifetime of hard work, you shouldn’t have to worry about how to pay the rent or fill a prescription,” Trudeau said Thursday during a news conference where he was also grilled about Canada’s military mission at the Kabul airport coming to an end.
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In last spring’s budget, the Liberals made good on a 2019 campaign promise to hike the Old Age Pension by 10 percent for seniors over the age of 75, but that doesn’t kick in until next year.
A one-time payment of $500 was sent earlier this month to seniors over 75 who qualify for the pension.
Trudeau said the Liberals are offering “real ambitious leadership” and a plan to “rebuild an even stronger Canada.”
Seniors are always a critical constituency in an election because they turn out to vote in higher numbers.
In 2019, Elections Canada reported that overall turnout was 67%, but 69% of Canadians over the age of 75 voted, and 79% of those between 65 and 74 did.